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GEORGIAinnovationmedicineTechnology

Sign & Sound – Gesture Language Glove by Young Georgian Inventors

ხელთათმანი ჟესტების ენა

Georgian young inventors have designed a glove that improves the lives of people with hearing and speech disorders.

The device helps individuals to communicate and integrate with the public. This is a program that will know the language of gestures, accordingly, it will translate the gesture made by the glove, while the speaker will voice the sentence.

There are three members in the team : Giorgi Bestavashvili, Beka Babunashvili and Giorgi Tskhovrebadze.

“There is the only school for hearing impaired children nearby us. We often noticed that the children talked only to each other and did not actually have contact with the public, because very few people know the sign language today. From this we got an idea, we wanted to invent a device that would help them to start communication with any person and we decided to design the gesture language translator gloves. We think this will greatly simplify their lives,” – said Beka Babunashvili.

“The glove sensors perceive user’s hand movements, translate, and then a speaker voices it. All this happens simultaneously and there is not any discomfort in conversation. The glove is very convenient and is useful in every situation. Of course, over time we will make it more and more comfortable and easy, ” – he added.

Hearing impairment can hamper a person’s intellectual development. People who have been cut off from the outside world are not able to socialize. In order the people with hearing and speech disorders to feel better about themselves, it is necessary that people around them to learn the language of gestures, which is quite difficult. Sign & Sound is an invention to benefit the public. After the development, improvement and establishment of the special glove, this problem will be solved and people with disabilities will be able to communicate with the public.

“We have been working for three months and the first month was too difficult because people with hearing disorders are not paid enough attention in Georgia. They do not have access to the Internet, to social networks, many of them are illiterate, and so they find it difficult to integrate into society. The only way to communicate with them is the language of gestures. In the future, hopefully, our idea will completely correct this situation,” – one of the members of the team Giorgi Bestavashvili said.

The team has only created the glove prototype. In the future, they are planning to obtain funding for the production of gloves.

 

Author: Nini Mshvenieridze

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

 

 

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GEORGIAinnovationTechnology

Airplane of Future- “Griffon” by 22-year-old Georgian Physicist

გიორგი მჭედლიშვილი გრიფონი

  Giorgi Mchedlishvili is 22 years old Georgian physicist, whose international success has recently gained a lot of attention. The presentation of his team’s “Griffon”, the aircraft of future, will be held at NASA head office on September 26 this year.

“Doctrina” has interviewed the young physicist:

-George, first of all, tell us what the essence of “Griffon” is and how the project began? 

-“Griffon” is the model of the future commercial airplane that I have created together with my teammates. Last September, I learned from my friend, Ilon Gordon about NASA’s challenge and from the very beginning we had a very serious attitude to it, because we believed that we could make our contribution to the development of the future aeronautics. A 12-member group were working on the “Griffon”. The group consisted of three teams : engine, aerodynamics and aero design. I worked directly on optimization of engine burning and cooling systems. Just as we have improved burning, we have reduced the emission of the harmful substances by more than 80%, and correspondingly, we have satisfied the essential requirement of NASA. At the same time, improvement of the combustion system allowed us to reduce the fuel consumption by 50-60%.

-Presentation of the project at NASA’s head office is unconditionally a huge success, but, in your opinion, how will the events develop and what are your chances to release the project?

-The main purpose of the challenge was to create a commercial airplane, which implementation would be quite realistic in 2025-2035. Of course, this project includes a very serious financial calculation. The cost of our aircraft production was also competitive with regard to the prices of the market. We have worked effectively in this aspect, so in my opinion it is possible to fully implement a full or certain system (engine or aerodynamics) of this design in future airplanes.

-Giorgi, as I know, in the course of study you have your own business and you are the founder of “SAC Group”. What is your company and what should we expect from it in the near future?

-We established the “SAC Group” this summer and it is one of the first and the highest level consultation and investment services firms in the direction of agribusiness and biotechnology in Georgia and in our region. We are the official partners of the American International Agribusiness Firm, “GIC Group”, which has been involved in implementation of many successful projects throughout the world, including in collaboration with the Chinese government. Our goal is to establish new standards in the region and to develop a vital industry for Georgia. At the same time, it is also important that we have a close and friendly relationship with the founder of GIC Group, Mr. Richard Gilmour, who is a great supporter of Georgia. Richard Gilmour was a very successful advisor in the US government under different auspices. In addition, he taught at Harvard, Georgetown and at other leading universities. So, with the support of “SAC Group”, we should expect many important projects.

-Finally, perhaps, your nearest future plans are still related to “Griffon”, but it is interesting how can you imagine yourself after years or are you going to return to Georgia?

-Now it is very difficult to talk about future plans exactly, but my future is closely linked to the United States as well as to my Georgia, which will definitely get stood up by us!

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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GEORGIA

Second City under Tbilisi, which is being Destroyed

თბილისის მეტრო

There is the second city under Tbilisi. Its construction started from the 30s of the 20th century. In 1941, the Defense Committee of the State issued a secret order according to which the secret underground shelters were to be built for the purpose of evacuating the government.

Tunnels have acquired civil defense function over time. Today, most of the existing bunkers in Tbilisi are destroyed. They also say that the tunnel built on the initiative of Stalin and Lavrenti Beria can even stand atomic bomb. Its location is certainly not known. The underground part of the city is kept secret, so many people try to explore and see such places, they are called diggers.

“Doctrina”  has interviewed one of the diggers Luka Japaridze.

– First of all, tell us about how long you have you been studying the underground part of the city? What is your goal?

We started working about 4 years ago.  We were unified by one of the internet forums. Our team consists of four people and we do not yet think about expanding the group. As far as possible, we try to cross the Georgian borders and examine the underground places of other countries. For example, we were in Armenia recently, we visited Yerevan’s unfinished metro station “Ajapniak” and examined tunnels.

-As we know, construction of tunnels started from the 30s of the twentieth century. What purpose did they serve? It is known that they used the tunnels for civil defense, to protect from air bombing, etc. Do they have they the same feature currently?

According to our information, the first shelter was built in 1932 in Tbilisi. It is located under one of the school buildings in Tbilisi. But there is no conditions to take shelter there.  We also have information that there are about 480 underground shelters in Tbilisi and only two are ready to receive part of the population during the war. Most of the shelters were destroyed or turned into warehouses.

– We know that the location of the objects is secret, but there are several places that are known to the public. Tell us about them.

For example, the underground shelter near Rustaveli metro, which is one of the most famous places in Tbilisi. As a rule, the younger diggers are starting to work from here. The most interesting thing is that the object is of a corridor system and does not have many room. The shelter has been robbed over the years some people misappropriated a certain part and rebult them as storerooms.

-Which object has impressed you, and why? Which expedition would you choose?

-It is really difficult to pick out any object,  because when you find out any shelter and start to study it,  it’s always something different, but in my subjective opinion, the only object that is different from all the others in terms of construction, number of rooms and function is the underground shelter located  on the right shelter bank (of the river Mtkvari) . It is built in the cave. There are up to 100 rooms, and its main function was to give shelter to high-ranking officials during the war situation. It was equipped with a secret material room visitors were given special passes noting which room can they view.

– What is the benefit this area brings to the public?

– This field can bring great benefit to both the state and society. In many countries (for example, in Russia), a number of digers have been taken by security services under their control and they are involved in anti-terrorist operations. Also, this area can offer tourists urban tourism that is developed in many countries of Europe. It is possible to reconstruct objects into museums, hotels, casinos and other places where the state will have some income and the public will benefit from the renewed function of a certain object.

– How do you find similar objects?

– It’s a little difficult to explain. When you are new in this field and you know the structures, it is difficult to find something, but practice brings everything. It is enough to know what are the features of the underground object and how it is connected with the overground world, which objects were built with underground shelters and so on.

– And what about the threats?

– There is a lot of danger. Harmful substance may be ingaled or a ladder can be broken or so on. Many times I have had the cases of touching with asbestos, we have had to get rid of mercury several times, but we have not hinder our work.

They say that many underground objects are being destroyed. Why? Have you asked anyeone for help? and what is the best way out of this difficult situation?

-They are being destroyed because of carelessness. When people were in need, radio equipment and other electrical equipment were brought from such facilities. When such valuable items were were not left, they started to sell scrap-iron. They removed the hermetic doors and almost everything that was made from metal. We have not asked for help, because they refused to open a museum at one of the objects and, therefore, we are past hope. The solution is that these places can be upgraded by another function. It is clear that most people will never be restored in the original form and can not actually fulfill the function, since these objects were designed at the level of development of that time’s devastating devices.

– What are you planning to do in this direction in the future?

We do not have a specific plan at this stage. We want to reconstruct one of the objects as a museum, where there will be stories on different objects, pictures, etc.

– There are many legends, tell us about one of them.

As for the legends, the most popular is the so-called Tbilisi Pentagram, which connects five different houses with each other, and therefore is a pentagram. There are also legends about the tunnel from one city to another. In general, we perceive them as unserious and we do not show any interest in the similar legends.

– Give advice to those who are interested in the underground city.

– I would like to advise those people, who are interested in the underground city, to start with an easy object, it will give them experience, to learn what do mercury and other dangerous materials look like, which are often found in underground objects. The most important thing is to evaluate their physical abilities, equipment and the complexity of the object.

 

Author: Nini Mshvenieridze

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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educationGEORGIA

Peace Corps Georgia in Support of Education and Science in Georgia

Peace_Corps_Logo_Vertical_CMYK

Since 2001 Peace Corps operates in Georgia. Peace Corps aims to promote World peace and friendship.

Peace Corps began its work in Georgia with the English Education program. In the framework of this program, American volunteers along their counterparts teach English in the regional schools. This program is still working successfully and more than 2000 volunteers did their bit in the development of communication skills in English language, teaching methods and resources.

Peace Corps Georgia runs two other programs as well. We Talked about these with Peace Corps Country Director, Steph Smith

-First, let us talk about the mission and aims of the organization. Which spheres are you interested in?

-Peace Corps was established in 1961 by the president of the United States John Kennedy. Currently Peace Corps operates in 64 countries promoting peace, providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand American culture, and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries. In Georgia Peace Corps has been working for 16 years. In any country Peace Corps starts working after being invited by the government and its will is very important. We cooperate with the ministries of Education and Science and Sports and Youth Affairs. Our aims are improving English language skills, implementing improved teaching methods and practices, developing resources and improving access to education. Thus, the biggest is the English Education Program. We have other programs as well, which are focused on youth and organizational development, as well as awareness building. The mission of Peace Corps is to provide qualified human resources to the interested countries.

Mainly Peace Corps works in three directions – which are these directions and what are the results?

-In order to improve methods and approaches every year we do surveys and try to analyze our impact and results. Survey results are positive. Currently, Peace Corps Volunteers in Georgia work in three directions: English Education, Individual and Organizational Development and Response Program. Mainly volunteers are placed in the regions. Since 2001, we have been working with Georgian partners at schools, organizations and communities all over the country.

-How are American teachers selected and trained?

-It is not required to be professional. Each program has its criteria, but main is to have enthusiasm and wish to help others selflessly. It is very interesting that applicants do not know exactly in which country they will serve. After being accepted and placed in particular country, different kinds of trainings are held for them during 3 months. They get familiar with Georgian culture and teaching specifics, and they learn Georgian language. Most of all Volunteers are placed in small villages, where the need of assistance is higher. For two years, they leave in Georgian families. Volunteers might come from any state. This year’s group represents 32 states and most of all California. As of age, majority is young 20-29 year old, though we have older Volunteers as well, for example 75 year old. According to statistics of 2016, overall 179 volunteers worked in 10 regions of Georgia.

-While being in Georgia how do Volunteers participate in social life?

-Volunteers actively take part in social life. Some of them speak Georgian. They learn Georgian history, culture and they celebrate holidays. While being in Georgia they become goodwill ambassadors of Georgia by sharing their love of Georgia and Georgian culture to American via emails, blogs and websites. One of our volunteers in Imereti started learning poems of Galaktioni in order to learn Georgian culture even better.

-What are the teaching methods and how are Georgian students and teaching mastering the materials?

-English Education Volunteers along their Georgian colleagues try to develop English language skills for communication purposes. Volunteers and their counterparts develop critical thinking skills and raise awareness about gender issues. It is worth noting that extracurricular activities are held very often. Volunteers organize camps, different competitions and start clubs. In 2016, 7940 students attended formal lessons of English language, of which 5655 improved speaking, listening, writing and reading skills in English language. As for teachers, 189 teachers improved English communication skills.

-One of the directions is supporting organizations. What are the aims of the Individual and Organizational Development project?

-This project started in 2004 and promotes activities of individuals and organizations all over the country. Project helps Georgian citizens, especially youth, women and socially vulnerable population to improve their economic circumstances. Volunteers along their Georgian colleagues work in support of nonprofit, nongovernmental and governmental organizations, as well community groups, sustainable projects and programs. They also promote financial literacy and support development of employability skills. Volunteers and their counterparts organize different trainings and seminars. In 2016, 45 volunteers served in the framework of this program.

-What is the Response program about?

-In the framework of this program, Volunteers arrive with considerable experience and exceptional technical skills. They volunteer from 6 to 12 months. Main directions are organizational capacity development by means of management, fundraising, communication, etc, as well as individual development, English Education and improvement of professional skills of teachers.

-In partnership with USAID Peace Corps has Small Project Assistance program in support of local community development. In 2016, 9743 USD was spent, 38 projects were planned and implemented. Peace Corps promotes an understanding between Georgian and American people.

-How actively are you involved in the science development?

-Peace Corps aims to raise awareness about technologies in individuals and promotes technological development in classrooms, schools, organizations and communities. In 2015, Peace Corps Georgia launched girls empowerment initiative, which serves reinforcement of girls education and gender equality. The project already had 2000 beneficiaries. Apart from this, there are different writing contests and competitions held, both locally and internationally. We are going to keep going down this path. As for summer camps, on this season, more than 200 youth had chance to participate around Georgia. Among those camps there were GLOW Camp (girls leading our world), LIFE (Leadership, Integration, Fitness, through Education) Camp, BUILD ( Boys United in Leadership Development) Camp and SELF (Self Esteem through Leadership and Fitness)

METS (Math, Engineering, Technology and Science) Camp is interesting for its science direction. There girls and boys have access to different sciences and analyze how might math, engineering and technologies impact their lives and future.

-As for future plans, are any changes planned?

-We want to follow the path we have taken. We aren’t going to stop our projects. In the contrary, we hope to deepen our partnership and to have the local support.

 

Author:  Natalia Jalaghonia

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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GEORGIAinnovationTechnology

Georgian WiFi Advertising Platform Putting Step into European Market

ვიფიშერი

In the modern world WiFi is a unique way to advertise and the Georgian company “Wifisher” is attempting to help different companies in promoting their products. The idea of setting up the company came up two years ago to two youngsters – Nodar Ivanidze and Davit Khosroshvili, who managed to implement it with the help of the Georgian investor.

“Doctrina” has interviewed Nodar Ivanidze about the successful initiative.

“Wifisher” is an online advertising platform that allows anyone to choose desired object for advertisement placement at the company’s website and to activate their ad in this point through a simple bank transaction.

According to Nodar Ivanidze, the platform is quite popular and effective. “The service provides us with the opportunity to interact directly with the customer. The modern man has already developed an instinct that cannot see advertisements in banners or social networks, and in these conditions, “Wifisher” creates some kind of alternative, “he notes.

“Wifisher” has an additional feature, too – cafes, restaurants, hospitals and hotels can use this system for internal communication with their consumers, for example, by means of the platform it is possible to find out how many times the user visited the site and, accordingly, loyal guests will be encouraged.

Currently, the company covers 150 objects throughout Georgia, including all airports, shopping centers, cinemas and several catering facilities. Statistically, 30% of the company’s customers use the platform to advertise their products, such as “Dunkin ‘Donuts”, “Wendy’s” and others.

“Wifisher” is the partner of almost all the largest Georgian companies, including VTB Bank, TBC Bank, tobacco and Insurance Companies, such as “Irao” and “Aldagi” and international companies – “Samsung” and “Philip Morris”.

Another advantage of the service is that the company enhances the Internet speed on all the facilities where their system operates. Special funds are allocated and the user receives much faster Internet access after viewing the advertisement.

The platform is innovative one in Georgia, but the similar programs exist abroad. Nodar Ivanidze noted that they cannot compete with their platform, so young people try to provide their service abroad. They already have partnerships in Azerbaijan and Armenia, and in the future they plan to cooperate with other countries in Europe as well as in Asia.

 

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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GEORGIAinnovation

„Optio Al “- Virtual Financial Assistant by Georgian Young Inventors

19575997_1518314964902149_446734520_n

Financial platform „OptioAl ” – developed by Georgian young inventors, is one of the successful projects of the “Start-up Georgia”. The projecthas become a winner of some international contests including  “Fincluders Startup Challenge”, held in Berlin where the team was awarded the “Most promising startup from EFSE region”.

“Doctrina” has interviewed one of the founders of the startup  -Shota Giorgobiani.

„Optio Al” platform offers a fairly simple, efficient and fun solution to financial problems. First of all, it is worth mentioning that the “Optio AI” consists of two parts :  so-called chatbot, a computer program designed to talk with, for instance,your family member or friend, and a web application, where you can get more detailed and in-depth analysis of your finances.

In order to provide consumers with effective and personalized advice, Optio-AI connects with their bank account through secure channels and analyzes the history of a given consumer’s financial data. Based on it, the user’s financial profile is created, which gives you detailed information about how much money you spend on a monthly basis, the stores and cafes you spend the most, and so on. According to Shota Giorgobiani,on the basis of this, the platform gives information about the future transactions, too. “step by step, we learn more about you and we start providing information about your estimated costs for the next week, next month and etc. Simultaneously, it helps us to assist you in planning and achieving your financial goals,” the founder said.

The idea of setting up OptioAI – the first Georgian finance chatbot, came about a year and a half ago, when friends, who now are the members of the “Optio Al” team, decided to create a tool for managing personal finances based on the analyzing the financial management methodology.

“Initially, we decided to create a Georgian product according to the Western analogues, but over time, we understood that due to the market size, setting up a just Georgian copy was pointless, therefore, the current product is designed for the global market and not only for Georgian one, because the management of personal finances is a universal challenge around the world.”

Optio AI” is currently undergoing internal testing, but in the nearest future, the number of people involved in testing will be gradually increased. The information and feedback received from them will become an indicator for the team to  achieve the desired goal and improve the product.

The team is also actively working with European partners to make financial and non-financial support from them and to properly select those countries where the product development will be the most interesting and productive.

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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analysisArchitectureGEORGIA

TRADITIONAL DWELLING DESIGN FROM GEORGIAN AND JAPANESE PERSPECTIVE

david asanidze, დავით ასანიძე, არქიტექტურა, architect

 National architecture is a co-harmony, symphony and co-sound, which exists between the human hand made and not of human made. Home is a space, which is organized specifically; each human being reasonably or irrationally attempts to adjust this space on his/her lifestyle and tradition. Folk architecture is an image of the country and its culture, which is mostly created by the unknown architect and bears signs of folk usages. Each nation has own typical traditional housing. Such various dwellings share similarities and differences in terms of functional or constructional type, décor or other signs.

People can feel safe and secure and chill from outer world only at home, therefore the paper discusses peculiarities of traditional Japanese house (Minka) and Georgian house (Oda).

System: of Japanese (Minka) house as a rule was delineated with fence and gate, size and decoration of which spoke about the status of its owner. Generally, the plan of the house was right angled, single storey, its structure was frame typed as this term has been adopted and constituted seismic sustainable structure (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: floor typology for a Japanese house. Source: jnto.go.jp

The ground level was lifted to 0.6 – 0.7 cm, which was dictated by the Japanese bioclimatic status quo – humidity and seismic zone. (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Section of Minka house. Source: jnto.go.jp

Partition walls: Walls, diverted to street, were blank, static and immovable, whereas walls, constructed over the internal courtyard always used to be movable. Moving walls – (Amado) – have been made of thick wooden pieces, which enabled the owners to dismantle them during the warm seasons of the year. Rooms were divided from each other via inner moving walls – (Fusuma). Traditional Japanese dwellings house less furniture as per the principle of (Vabi). The best homes usually included low table and bookshelves in the guest room, also niche – (Tokonoma), which constituted esthetic center of the entire house.

System: of Georgian (Oda) house is widely spread in the western part of Georgia. With its planning and spatial-size type, these houses are distinct and diverse. Three indigenous types of (Oda house) Which reached the peak of its development in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries may be outlines below.

I – Long shaped single room dwelling, which merges with the balcony from the one side and is covered with double-inclined roof on top (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: I type of Oda house. Source: National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

 

II – Characterized with one, two, and three or in rare instances, four-room chain, with the balcony all along this room chain (see Figure 4).

 

Figure 4: II type of Oda house. Source: National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

III – Double winged location of rooms with balconies on both sides. Planning is square shaped and all these are covered with quadruple-inclined roof on top. The phases of space development may be observed here, also inside organization of the dwelling is being complicated; the key idea of this alteration is separating guest reception room from the dining room and designating it as a main room; sleeping room has also been split and small storage balcony was separated from it (see Figure5).

Such dwellings in Imereti, Guria, Samegrelo, Adjara and Abkhazia[1] have own very specific characteristic signs. These regions are characterized with high level of precipitation and humidity, which influenced frame type design of the dwellings. Houses in these regions used to be erected on wooden or stone pillars, height of which varied from 0.5 m. to 2.5 m. (see Figure 6)

Figure 5: III type of Oda house. Source: National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

In almost all types of (Oda Houses) plan is attached to the façade solution. Cutting sections of doors and windows very frequently are lined up in the following order:

Window > door > window>Door > window

Large room                      Small room 

Partition walls: Like in Japan, folding bulkheads are met in Georgia too, some (Oda Houses) have assembling bulkheads, which fuse two or three bordering rooms and create single unified space.

Balcony: In Japanese dwelling traditional (Engava) is met here. This is an open gallery, which lines up across the external perimeter of the building and is covered by the roof of the house.

Engava constitutes multi-functional space, sort of outer corridor (see Figure 7), which connects all the rooms and protects the house from the rain, snow and summer heat. It also may well be used as reception place for guests, however, in case of Samurais, Engava used to be the place, where bodyguards had to patrol as to keep the family calm and quiet.

Figure 7: Façade of Mika House with Engava. Source: jnto.go.jp

The major function of Engava was to attain the role of transitional space among internal and external universes. Roof and moving shutters (Shijhi) make Engava part of the interior, whereas its open space links Engava to the outer world. Engava was easily accessible from the rooms; Engava bonded interior and exterior, that’s exactly called transitional space (See figure 8)

Figure 8: Section of folk Japanese house. Source: jnto.go.jp

 

Balcony: In Oda house light of characteristics of traditional dwellings and so called transitional space concept, similarities with the traditional Georgian architecture may be well observed in this type of dwelling, which has been met from ancient time and is still existent even nowadays. So called “transitional space” with different variations is met in Oda houses of western Georgian regions (see Figure 9).

Figure 9: Balcony of Oda house. Source: National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

 

Open balconies are diversely dislocated around the house. Therefore the balcony is a transitional space between the courtyard and the house itself. Rooms are lined up across the common balcony. The distance between the columns of the balcony defines the image of the balcony, which is nicely decorated with unique wooden ornaments within “à jour”.

The type and style of the balcony points out multi functionality of the family life, in which Georgian traditions and hospitality play crucial part, guests are warmly welcome and hosted on the balcony. The veranda creates architectural image of the Georgian dwelling, which also includes transitional space. In this regard, balcony of the Oda House bears the huge artificial-esthetic and psycho-emotional importance, which is also met in Japanese transitional space (Engava).

Yards: Well-known “dwarf gardens” of Japanese homes are derived from Japanese tradition and religion. The space opens from the outset of the gate, the dwelling building stands deep inside the space and the road to the house is paved through the various types of courtyards, which provide individual images of intermediate space (see Figure 10).

 

Figure 10: Plan of Japanese Garden. Source: jnto.go.jp

Traditional Japanese courtyards (gardens) may be considered as a transitional space. By virtue of stone rubbles and slope terrain gardens create esthetic environment of high value (see Figure 11).

Figure 11: Japanese garden environment. Source: jnto.go.jp

 

The Japanese term for garden is “niwa”, meaning a sacred space. Belief in the sacredness of the landscape began as the ancient fear of natural phenomena but evolved into the perception that all living things are interconnected, spiritually and metaphysically.

Yards: In western Georgia is divided in two parts, front yards covered with grass are entrance space for Oda Houses. When the guest enters the yard, he/she already finds him/herself in the dwelling of the host and gets certain impressions.

Grass yard assigns the function of transitional space, in which the host welcomes the guest. Under the shadows of walnut or oak tree, the host offers to the guest starters such as: dried fruit, nuts, fruits, alcohol and arranges so called “aperitif” which lasts unless the housewife prepares the table for dinner. The yard behind the house is a space for farm buildings and vegetable gardens (see Figure12).

 

Figure 12: Plan of Georgian garden. Source: National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

Roofed gates plays important role in a mystery of hospitality, which protect guests in rainy weather. This underlines folk architectural solution toward guests. (see Figure 13).

Figure 13: Roofed gate

View: From Japanese dwellings according to the above described design of Minka houses, they have overview on the internal courtyard with esplanade e.g. over the projection of own micro universe. With a blank surrounding wall the Japanese person estranges him/herself from the real environment and shifts to the own virtual universe.

The view of the garden when the movable exterior screens (shoji) that make up much of the outer walls are pushed aside or removed is an aesthetic experience. The open plan of residential interiors is arranged for maximum viewing of the garden from the interior, so that an occupant can contemplate the garden from a seated position at a level slightly higher than the ground – a view with a pleasant psychological and aesthetic effects (see Figure 14).

Figure 14: The view to the Japanese garden. Source: jnto.go.jp

The spatial connection between house and garden depends upon shoji screens to open the house to the garden or close it off. The elevated floor of the room is continuous with bamboo flooring of the narrow veranda. A deep overhang shelters the veranda and the interior. The garden “borrows” its distant view from neighbors.

View: from Georgian dwellings it should be emphasized that despite the house orientation, people of Imereti nevertheless opens it towards the view. Generally, the view over the outer space – nature – takes precedence for Georgians. In this particular circumstance, the Oda House has overview on all possible views towards all four directions. The house is bonded to the outer space, is hospitable and yet integrated to the nature. Its courtyard is a mystic reflection of the entire universe and these two are in a symphonic harmony to each other (see figure 15).

Figure 15: The view to the Georgian garden

Resemblance between Japanese and Georgian traditional houses is indeed expressed. One more similarities affecting traditional architecture in both countries, is the lifestyle of the people and natural and weather conditions. For instance, in case of both traditional dwellings, the ground level is lifted above.

Based on syncretistic research the average lifting index of ground level of Oda House is 0.8-0.9 cm, which is dictated by the bio climate met in the region, which is also interesting to compare to the construction and size of the Japanese dwellings.

In modern day, contemporary Japanese architecture attaches utmost importance to the entrance – “transitional space”. Production of modern Japanese architects demonstrates maintenance of Japanese tradition, its continuation and development. Well-known Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa pays particular attention to the “importance” of architecture, which used to give birth to the feeling of space, which itself was based on Japanese culture. Studying national culture, He tried to reveal key elements of esthetics, art and philosophy and concluded that architecture should pursue and meet general principles of Japanese culture.

In Kourokawa’s architectural theory, the main idea behind the metamorphosis – change and transformation – is linked to the transitional (intermediate) space and ambiguity. He stresses that due to transitional zones, metamorphosis became possible in the architecture. In His recent productions, Kourokawa challenges to create such an architectural space, which would be in compliance with the Japanese viewpoint. Japanese space concept has never been characterized with clear demarcation lines, the spaces of interior and exterior have not been delimitated. The clear example of this approach is typology of Japanese house, which has open front space.

While producing contemporary Georgian architecture, it should preserve that very spirit and importance, which have been integral part of traditional Georgian architecture. Namely: specific space, detail or something mystic which is embedded in the space and cannot be expressed verbally or visually.

 

References:

[[1]] Crouch, D., & Jonhson, G. (2001). Traditions in Architecture, Africa, America, Asia and Oceania. New York: Oxford University Press.

[2] Davitaia, M. (2000). Concept of kisho kurokawa Architecture and Paradigms of Georgian Architecture. Tbilsi: Georgian Technical Univesity.

[3] Garakanidze, M. (1956). Georgian Traditional Wooden Architecture.

[4] Meparishvili, N. (2016). Traditional Homes of Georgia: The Reason to be Proud. Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

[5] Turner, T. (2011). Asian Gardens, History, Beliefs and Design. New York: Routiedge.

[1] Imereti, Guria, Samegrelo, Adjara And Abkhazia – Regions in western Georgia

 

Davit Asanidze

Master of Urban and Spatial Planning

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

 

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GEORGIAinnovation

“Postcard Club” – Innovation and Charity

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The “Postcards Club”is a new initiative in Georgia, which unites a quite innovative idea and charity. For detailed information, “Doctrina” has interviewed Madonna Selimashvili, founder of the project.

  • First of all, tell us about the project authors.

-I have founded the “Postcards Club” together with my girls. About two years ago, I established a charity organization the Warm House for Young People. My organization helps socially vulnerable students with housing and scholarship. We have decided to start our own business.

Why, how and when did the idea of making and marketing the handmade postcards came up?

– The idea of starting the “Postcards Club” came up following my visit to the US. I attended the process of working at a postcard club. It was the amazing feeling to see how a team of people put their extraordinaryideas on papers and gave a lot of people happiness.

Our cards are distinguished by their original design and creativity. Each one has its own story. Sometimes just a card is enough to make the best gift. We wanted our products to be viewed by more people and we could have extra income.

  • This market has intensified recently. What does make you different from other companies?

-It’s a pleasure to work at our club. We make each postcard with love. Everything is handmade and original. The quality of performance is more sophisticated. In addition, they are made by students and it is the source of income for them.

What is the process of making these cards and what are you offering to users?

– We have lots of different materials, paper cutters, stamps of different colors and designs, lots of colorful papers, which is mainly donations from our club friends. Each member of the club designs a card and then explains to others how to prepare a card.

-What is the need for your products?

– We have a webpage where the users contact us and orders various cards. Also, we sell them at various stores and flea markets.

– And what about your future plans – do you intend to expand or to show interest in other markets?

– In the future we plan to expand the production of our cards. We also plan to introduce national elements. We are going to find a company that will assist us in producing Georgian-language stamps. This will be interesting for tourists and guests. Maybe we will be able to open our own shop in the future, where we will sell various items.

 

Author: Natalia Jalaghonia

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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GEORGIAinnovation

Invention that Significantly Cuts Natural Gas Cost

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The first “Wi-Fi Thermostat” printed board has been developed at the FabLab of the Technopark. “Alien Green” ltd is the author of the device. Paata Kveselava is the company Director General, while Lasha Dolidze is the Technical Director of “Alien Green”.

“Wi-Fi Thermostat” reduces the cost of natural gas by up to 16-39%, which, of course, reflects on monthly payments. The device makes it possible to control the central heating system temperature remotely using smartphones, iPads, smart watches, laptops or web browser. It consists of two components:

-Control block that is installed in a boiler;

– Room sensor, which is installed in the desired location.

The room sensor is connected to the control block, the temperature transmitter receives the room temperature and transmits the thermostat installed in the boiler, which can then be used to select and set the temperature in the house with the above listed devices.

Mostat thermostat enables central heating system boiler to work according to the pre-set schedule. The heating turns on when you need the heat and the rest of the time you save energy, for example, during the night or when you’re out of the house. The application offers detailed statistics of heating system operation in the form of graphics.

“The prototype of the first Wi-Fi Thermostat was installed and tested on December 1, 2015. The prototype successfully passed the 5-month test period. Based on the study results, we decided to discuss the device in terms of business, to produce it in Georgia and to offer to the Georgian customers.

In the winter of 2016, 10 thermostats were installed in different districts of Tbilisi in the test mode. Several month-long observations of the device demonstrated that the thermostat saved natural gas cost by up to 27%. Society positively evaluates the product. Additionally, we’ve considered comments and advices from the consumers. Consequently, we have created a better management and control ecosystem of the central heating system. It’s easy to install, it takes about 20 minutes. Unlike other smart thermostats, installation of the Mostat thermostat does not require installation of additional electric cables, making holes in the walls and other unpleasant works, ”  Paata Kveselava said.

The thermostat and room temperature sensor are connected via Wi-Fi. It is noteworthy that the thermostat is compatible with 90% of boilers produced in Georgia. The application is in both English and Georgian and at the initial stage it is adapted to the local market.

“In 2016, we presented the thermostat prototype to the contest of the ideas announced by the “Innovation and Technology Agency” and we were involved in the 12-month Business Incubator Program. Our priority is to create such products and services that will raise people’s lives and promote social and economic development of the country, ” Paata Kveselava said.

300 thermostats have already created at the FabLab of the Technopark and the users will be able to buy the innovative products starting from October.

 

Author: Nini Mshvenieridze

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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educationGEORGIAinnovation

Unprecedented Invention by Young Georgians Transforms Gestures into Text Format

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Ilia State University Business School held a business idea scholarship competition “Abitour” for entrants in May, where the teams of graduate students competed with each other to demonstrate their own innovative businesses. One of these is a device that will help hearing impaired persons to communicate.

“Doctrina” has interviewed one of the authors of the idea Mariam Charkhalashvili.

“MCE box” (“Make communication easy”) is the start-up idea by young Georgian girls. Its goal is to help hearing impaired persons to reach active communication with the public. Mariam Charkhalashvili, Sopho Petriashvili and Nini Shavdia are the authors of the project.  The young girls finished school this year and decided to participate in Ilia State University Business business idea scholarship competition.

The innovative device works on the following principle: people who use gestures stand before the screen and speak in the language of gestures, and their movement is displayed on the other side of the screen in textual form and on the other hand, the device will have “Google Voice Search”, and it will be possible to display the verbal text in the language of gestures. It will make easier for hearing impaired persons to communicate with other people.

According to Mariam Charkhalashvili, the device is mainly designed for public institutions, “Our equipment, which can be installed in various offices, companies, banks or restaurants, will make it easier for hearing impaired persons to communicate with the staff of the mentioned objects,” – Mariam Charkhalashvili said.

The girls say they thought about the problems facing the hearing impaired persons earlier, too. “Abitour” has enabled them to present their idea to the society and to gain a positive response, all the more because their device does not have analog. As for the prototype, its creation is related to certain finances. The girls plan to develop the idea and to find necessary resources.

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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